I’m writing about this because we sidetracked a post in the forums and I thought it was interesting to warrant a full article. It’s not so much that I want to ram my opinion down the throats of those who disagree with me (I do), but that I feel like my position is misunderstood and I probably didn’t do a great job of explaining it.
I don’t ever get angry. That doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen to me (they do), but most people I know will tell you that they’ve never seen me angry.
The common misperception is that I don’t deal with anger and I stuff it down somewhere. The theory continues that eventually I won’t be able to contain it and I will unleash my rage. Or that I’ll suddenly become depressed.
People suggest that I “deal with my anger”, which is the common “healthy” way to do things.
So first – my position on it. There is NEVER any reason to be angry. You can’t feel anger unless you also feel helpless. If someone wrongs you, but you have a solution to the situation, you wouldn’t feel angry, right? You’d feel motivated, if anything. Possibly a bit frustrated because you now have more work to do. Anger is a weak emotion.
Someone please try to give me an example that doesn’t fit that description. I tried really hard to think of one, but couldn’t.
When someone wrongs you, which is the classic instigator of anger, you have two choices : accept it or react to it.
Someone knocked over your sand castle? Either accept it and do something else, or build a better sand castle.
What about something where you have no recourse? You did a good job on a paper in class but your teacher is an asshole and he gave you a bad grade anyway. I’d argue that you DO have a reaction here (drop out of school, take it up with the teacher or his superior, etc.), but most people wouldn’t do those things.
In this case, just accept it. Getting angry NEVER ever fixes anything. . Think about that – why would you want an emotion that NEVER helps? It’s like jealousy. Being jealous never helps. People have no problem saying “don’t be jealous”, but they get angry (haha….) when I say not to get angry.
Accept that some things that happen to you will not be optimal. That’s how it is for everyone, so just accept yours. Anything else is just petty and selfish.
To wrap this up – the point isn’t to suppress your anger, it’s to deal with things in a LOGICAL way and realize that anger isn’t a valid or helpful emotion. I’m not saying that this is always easy, but it can be accomplished. Instead of thinking of it as “not dealing” with anger, think of it as “dealing extremely quickly” with anger.
So this all sounds great, you might think, but how do you do it? If someone trips you today you’re going to be angry, right? You do it the same way you do anything – PRACTICE.
When you get angry, think “Am I going to do something about this?”. If you are, think of what you’re going to do and do it (or schedule it if you can’t do it immediately). How can you feel angry after that? You’ve found the solution to your problem!
If you’re not going to do something about it, then say outloud or in your head, “Bad things happen to people. This is one of those things and the best thing I can do is move on.” Maybe that sounds stupid, but when you logically agree that there’s no reason to be angry, you’ll find that you get over things extremely quickly. Think about why you’re being angry and you’ll usually be able to trace it back to a fault of your own, most likely something like, “I know the solution to this problem but I don’t want to do it.”
Enjoy. Magnus, back me up!